Story by Jaymie Pottinger
If there is one event Pine Forge Academy (PFA) students look forward to each semester, it is the Week of Spiritual Emphasis. During this time, faculty and staff make school a worry-free zone; students have no exams or major projects for a greater and nobler reason. The week is a time for spiritual enrichment to permeate the soul and offer some reprieve from the busyness of life at the boarding academy.
This year keynote speaker and distinguished alumnus MyRon Edmonds (’95) presented the spirit-filled messages. Edmonds is the senior pastor of the Grace Community church in Cleveland. He used his journey at PFA to illustrate the profound impact Week of Spiritual Emphasis had in his growth as a Christian and ultimately his relationship with God.
Edmonds emphasized two important aspects of spiritual growth: process and purpose. He used the illustration of how pictures are made and printed to demonstrate the process that God must take us through before His image can be perfectly reflected in us. Paul Larivaux, a senior who signed up for baptism, says, “Life is definitely a process, and spending quality time with God and allowing our characters to be molded is essential in getting us to where we need to be.”
Edmonds stressed the urgency and the need to be prepared for the second coming of Christ by sharing the sad reality that “many of my friends left the church with the intent to enjoy life a little, and have not returned.” Junior Alayna Crawford states, “Dr. Edmonds’ sermons were inspiring, and even though I have had multiple weeks of prayer experiences, this one really touched me. I am thankful for the reminder that I really need to ask the Holy Spirit to come into my life and that now is the time for me to build a relationship with God.”
The power-packed, thought-provoking and life-transforming week culminated with another distinguished PFA alumnus Ronnie Vanderhorst (’72), Sabbath’s keynote speaker. In his message, Vanderhorst focused on the prodigal son and the similar predicament in which youth today find themselves.
As a direct result of the spiritual week, as well as ongoing Bible studies, 38 students signed up for baptism.